North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper announced that over $2 million in grants will be used to improve water quality in North Carolina rivers and help farmers clean up hog lagoons.
The grants are part of a larger settlement reached with Smithfield Foods three years ago. Grants in the Smithfield Agreement have two goals: environmental enhancement and conversion of lagoons used to management hog waste.
A grant of $500,000 will go to the North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation Districts to continue efforts to help farmers close out hog lagoons. The foundation will also use monies to develop programs to improve farm management and protect water quality.
A grant of $340,000 given to Save Our State based in Raleigh is to build and test a closed- loop swine waste management system as an environmentally friendly means of processing hog manure in eastern North Carolina.
Other grants go to restore wetlands, monitor and improve water quality and identify sources of pollution in the state’s rivers and to purchase land to serve as environmental buffers.
The Smithfield Agreement calls on the nation’s largest pork producer to allocate $50 million over 25 years to improve the environment. Another $15 million was given to North Carolina State University to fund development of new ways to process and treat hog waste.